Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys
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Speak or read from scripted materials, such as news reports or commercial messages, on radio, television, or other communications media. May play and queue music, announce artist or title of performance, identify station, or interview guests.
Undergraduate program resulting in the highest median salary ($113K): Economics
Largest undergraduate program (20.4% of workers): Communications
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Titles for this career often contain these words
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Responsibilities and activities

Announcers typically do the following:

  • Present music, news, sports, the weather, the time, and commercials
  • Interview guests and moderate panels or discussions on their shows
  • Announce station programming information, such as program schedules, station breaks for commercials, or public service information
  • Research topics for comment and discussion during shows
  • Read prepared scripts on radio or television shows
  • Comment on important news stories
  • Provide commentary for the audience during sporting events, at parades, and on other occasions
  • Select program content
  • Introduce upcoming acts and guide the audience through the entertainment
  • Make promotional appearances at public or private events

Radio and television announcers present music or the news and comment on important current events. Announcers are expected to be up to date with current events or a specific field, such as politics or sports, so that they can comment on these issues during their programs. They may research and prepare information on current topics before appearing on air. In addition, announcers schedule guests on their shows and work with producers to develop other creative content.

Radio and television announcers also may be responsible for other aspects of television or radio broadcasting. They may operate studio equipment, sell commercial time to advertisers, or produce advertisements and other recorded material. At many radio stations, announcers do much of the work traditionally done by editors and broadcast technicians, such as broadcasting program schedules, commercials, and public service announcements.

Many radio and television announcers increasingly maintain a presence on social media sites. Establishing a presence allows them to promote their stations and better engage with their audiences, especially through listener feedback, music requests, or program contests. Announcers also make promotional appearances at charity functions or other community events.

Many radio stations now require DJs to update station websites with show schedules, interviews, or photos.

The following are examples of types of radio and television announcers:

  • Disc jockeys, or DJs, broadcast music for radio stations. They typically specialize in one kind of music genre and announce selections as they air them. DJs comment on the music being broadcast as well as on weather and traffic conditions. They may take requests from listeners, interview guests, or manage listener contests.
  • Podcasters record shows that can be downloaded for listening through a computer or mobile device. Like traditional talk radio, podcasts typically focus on a specific subject, such as sports, politics, or movies. Podcasters may also interview guests and experts on the specific program topic. However, podcasts are different from traditional radio broadcasts. Podcasts are prerecorded so audiences can download and listen to these shows at any time. Listeners can also subscribe to a podcast to have new episodes automatically downloaded to their computer or mobile devices.
  • Talk show hosts may work in radio or television and specialize in a certain area of interest, such as politics, personal finance, sports, or health. They contribute to the preparation of program content, interview guests, and discuss issues with viewers, listeners, or the studio audience.

Public address system announcers entertain audiences to enhance performances or they provide information. They may prepare their own scripts or improvise lines in their speeches.

The specific duties of public address system announcers vary greatly depending on where these announcers work. For example, an announcer for a sports team may have to present starting lineups (official lists of players who will participate in an event), read advertisements, and announce players as they enter and exit a game.

Train announcers are responsible for reading prepared scripts containing details and data related to train schedules and safety procedures. Their job is to provide information rather than entertainment.

The following are examples of types of public address system and other announcers:

  • Emcees host planned events. They introduce speakers or performers to the audience. They may tell jokes or provide commentary to transition from one speaker to the next.
  • Party DJs are hired to provide music and commentary at an event, such as a wedding, a birthday party, or a corporate party. Many of these DJs use digital files or portable media devices.
Median salary: $36,770 annually
Half of those employed in this career earn between $25,110 and $59,980.
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for this career compare to other jobs' salaries?
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Salary growth for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
Is this job likely to reward you for sticking with it through pay raises and promotions? The higher a job’s “experience quotient,” the more you are likely to get as you stay there.
Experience quotient percentile
Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?
Salary distribution
Number employed
About Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs? The availability of health care, especially employer provided health care, and pension plans can add significantly to the value of compensation you receive in a career. These charts compare how this career compares to other careers with regard to health care and pension plans.
Employee has health insurance
Employer is providing health insurance
Employer-provided pension plan is available
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (90%)
  • High Conflict Frequency (52%)
  • Consequence of Error (47%)
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Personality and skills
Can you see yourself in the ranks of Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.
Computer skills
Announcers, especially those seeking careers in radio or television, should have good computer skills and be able to use editing software and other broadcast-related devices.
Interpersonal skills
Radio and television announcers interview guests and answer phone calls on air. Party disc jockeys (DJs) and emcees should be comfortable working with clients to plan entertainment options.
Entry into this occupation is very competitive, and many auditions may be needed for an opportunity to work on the air. Entry-level announcers must be willing to work for a small station and be flexible to move to a small market to secure their first job.
Research skills
Announcers must research the important topics of the day in order to be knowledgeable enough to comment on them during their program.
Speaking skills
Announcers must have a pleasant and well-controlled voice, good timing, and excellent pronunciation.
Writing skills
Announcers need strong writing skills because they normally write their own material.
Education pathways to this career
Education attained by broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys typically hold a bachelor's degree.
Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.
Details: Education and training recommended for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys

Public address announcers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Radio and television announcers typically need a bachelor’s degree in communications, broadcasting, or journalism, but some jobs require only a high school diploma or equivalent.

College broadcasting programs offer courses, such as voice and diction, to help students improve their vocal qualities. In addition, these programs prepare students to work with the computer and audio equipment and software used at radio and television studios.

Education level of Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys
Only 50% of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 50% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
  1. Communications
  2. Journalism
  3. Mass Media
  4. English Language and Literature
  5. Communication Technologies
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College majors held by broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
This table shows the college majors held by people working as broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys. If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Salary comparison for bachelor's only
Career salary (tail) versus Career/Major salary (dot)
Does the bachelor's-only salary rise or fall with this major?
Salary for bachelor's-only
For people with this career and major
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Salary for all workers
For people with this career and major
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education for Career and Major
Workers with this career/major
Percentage in this career with this major
Programs recommended by the Department of Education
The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.
Number of degrees awarded in 2018
Education level of awarded degrees
Gender of graduates
Race/origin of graduates
Not so much?
The link between degrees and this career
With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.
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CommunicationsJournalismMass MediaEnglish Language and...Communication Techno...Business Management ...AccountingDrama and Theater Ar...General BusinessLiberal ArtsAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majors
Where are the jobs
State-by-state employment numbers
Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.
Select a state to see local area details
Number of Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys per 1,000 workers (ACS)
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Job density versus job count
Which states hire the most broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio
We use two methods to compare salaries across states:
  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys.
We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this figure might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
Location-adjusted median salary for Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys (ACS)
42% of Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys are working part time.
We’ve found that some jobs have a huge number of part-time workers, and typically that is because they are unable to find full-time work or the job itself can’t provide full-time hours. With 42% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 92% of careers.
Employer types
This donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire for this career.
Employers of undefined (ACS)
Private for-profit
Private not-for-profit
Local government
State government
Federal government
Self-employed incorporated
Self-employed not incorporated
Working without pay
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Distribution: Salaries of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys by type of employer
Here are the salary distributions based on employer type.
$44K$44K$34K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedPrivate for-profitAll
Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys and gender
With 23% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 63% of careers.
Gender of Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
Men (78%)
Women (23%)
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary in this career? The closer the bars are, the less discrepancy there is.
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
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Context: Women in the workforce
How does this career compare to other careers with regard to the percentage of women in the career.
Context: Salary inequity
The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is better for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys, with the median salary for men only 1.0% higher than the median salary for women.
Race and origin of Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
This donut shows the distribution of race and origin among those employed as Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys.
Race/origin of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys
White (78% )
Black (11% )
Other (4% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (3% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Distribution: salaries by race/origin
Some careers might have a pay disparity based on race or origin, the closer the below bars are the less of a discrepancy is present.
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.